Boy and father wish to thank mystery fisherman who rescued child from lake

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COSSAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — They say timing is everything, and one Washington County boy who fell into a cold lake knows that all too well.

Bryce Niles, 10, was visiting with relatives this past Sunday when he and a friend thought it might be fun to go fishing and take kayaks out on Cossayuna Lake.

But it wasn’t really the best of ideas.

“Do you know how to swim?” asked NEWS10’s Anya Tucker.
Bryce: “No.”
Anya: “And you weren’t wearing a life vest?”
Bryce: “No.”
Anya: “Did you wish you maybe made a different decision?”
Bryce: “Yeah.”

Bryce ended up facing the biggest scare of his life when his kayak capsized on the way back to shore.

His buddy ,who was in his own kayak, tried unsuccessfully to help. Luckily, his friend had a cellphone and called his mom and 911 while a cold and wet Bryce clung to the watercraft.

Anya: “You think you were in the water how long?”
Bryce: “10 to 15 minutes.”
Anya: “That had to have been very cold.”
Bryce: “It felt like forever.”

But then, as if out of nowhere, a fisherman who had heard their frantic calls for help motored up to the boys.

“I felt like God came down from the sky,” said Bryce.

Whether it was divine intervention or pure luck, the man made it just in time and lifted Bryce out of the water. Arriving first responders then met them on the shore.

The fisherman, though, motored off before anyone could catch his name.

“I just need to look him in the eye and shake his hand,” said Jason Spear, Bryce’s dad.

He says he found out about what happened when he picked up his son Sunday night.

“There is no way I can ever repay that man,” he added.

Anya: “Nobody knows who he is. What would you like to say to him?”
Bryce: “Thank you for saving my life. Thank you.”

Bryce and his dad say it was a scary life lesson.

And beyond the plan to one day, hopefully, thank that quick thinking fisherman, is a definite plan for swim lessons.

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